As well as the twice daily mass ascents featuring hundreds of balloons, the special shapes rodeo, the magical nightglows the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta Arena in partnership with Bristol Energy will be alive with entertainment all day.
On Friday afternoon, for Behind the Basket members of the public will be invited into the arena to get up close and personal with the hot air balloons as they set up, offering a unique insight into how these incredible craft work. It’s an experience not to be missed!
The arena entertainment will run from midday to 5pm on Saturday and Sunday and include the following displays.
Pitts Special Aerobatic Aeroplane Display
Rich Goodwin’s incredible Pitts Special biplane will once again take to the skies above Ashton Court. An original Pitts Special which Rich has added some revolutionary modifications to, it is now capable of performing amazing high-speed twists and turns. Now a favourite at air shows across the country, Rich is used to performing to crowds of more than 100,000 and amazing them with his bravery.
Exit Parachute Display Team
These brave parachutists have been soaring over the Bristol Balloon Fiesta for 25 years now. Jumping from helicopters, they perform jaw-dropping moves while gliding down towards the arena to land on marked landing spot in the arena.
Parabatix Flying Display Team
Swooping and diving just above the ground at speeds of up to 45 miles an hour, the Parabatix Flying Display Team always put on an impressive show, pulling off eye-catching twists and turns and showing what is possible when man and machine combine.
The world’s only aerobatic formation wingwalking team, the Breitling Wingwalkers have to be seen to be believed. Strapped to the top wings of Boeing Stearman biplanes, the wingwalkers perform handstands and acrobatic manoeuvres while flying hundreds of feet in the air and at high speed. All their moves are carried out while facing ‘G’ forces of up to 4G and speeds of up to 150mph, these wingwalkers are an amazing sight.
Children can be dwarfed by full-size hot air balloons, but there will be miniature ones flying around the main arena. Small, remote-controlled versions of the real thing will make an appearance over the weekend, with room for your favourite furry toy in the basket!
Great Western Air Ambulance Charity display
This year the Fiesta’s official charity is once again the Great Western Air Ambulance Charity (GWAAC), which flies medical staff to the scenes of serious incidents, saving many lives across the region each year.
The team from GWAAC will be on site at Ashton Court with their helicopter on Saturday and Sunday of the 2017 Fiesta to meet the crowds and talk about their work. On Saturday afternoon they’ll be carrying out a mock road traffic accident to show how they carry out their vital work, and throughout the weekend volunteers will be mingling with the crowds collecting donations towards their target of raising £25,000 during the Fiesta.
To help the charity reach their fundraising target, Bristol Energy, the city’s gas and electricity company, will donate £30 to GWAAC for everyone who switches their energy using the code ‘GWAAC’ through www.bristol-energy.co.uk. Bristol Energy use its energy to support local communities and will reinvest profits straight back into Bristol.